"No More Short Skirts And Skimpy Tops": Guards To Restrict Entry Of 'Improperly' Dressed People In Lucknow Imambaras
After a meeting with the Shia community, the District Magistrate (DM) of Lucknow, Kaushal Raj Sharma, has agreed that women wearing short skirts, skimpy tops and other revealing clothes will not be allowed to enter the Imambaras.
Representatives of the Husainabad Allied Trust and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) also attended the meeting. The two monuments that are declared as protected sites by the ASI are managed by the trust.
“Obscenity That Hurts Religious Sentiments”
“No more short skirts and skimpy tops at Chhota and Bada Imambaras. Visitors will have to wear clothes that cover their body, keeping in mind the sanctity of the over-two-centuries old monuments. Professional photography and video shoots have also been banned,” India Today quoted Sharma as saying.
According to the DM, there are guards and guides who have been instructed to restrict the entry of those who are dressed improperly, as well as “check obscenity that hurts religious sentiments”.
Imambaras are religious structures in the Shia community where “indecent” behaviour is denounced.
A group of Shia clerics, historians and civil society members, upset with tourists roaming around within the precincts in “revealing and improper clothes”, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the ASI and the district administration, asking them to take action in the matter.
The signatories were upset over the fact that a code of conduct was not made mandatory for visitors to the Imambaras earlier, other shrines such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar have strict rules regarding the same.
The ASI had further been directed to renovate parts of the monuments that are decaying, the DM claimed.
The Logical Indian Take
It is harrowing to see that no matter how much we progress as a country, modern reality clashes with religious conservatism on a daily basis. It is even more dangerous when the authorities support such conservative narratives that deprive young men and women their right to wear what they want and subjects them to examination and harassment at the hands of guides and guards in public places.
At a time when we should be challenging the prejudice around clothing and the prevailing mindsets in the society vis-a-vis ‘indecent’ clothing, consent of the district authority to monitor clothing in Imambaras further reinforces such beliefs.